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Is pregnancy-induced hypertension serious?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) can have serious repercussions for both you and your child. For the mother, PIH can cause seizures, kidney and liver problems, blood clotting, and early delivery. For the child, PIH can cause improper nutrition or placental abruption. Placental abruption refers to the process of the placenta tearing away from the uterus, causing bleeding and complications for mother and child. This is why it is so important to have regular checkups with your doctor concerning your risk of various pregnancy complications including PIH. 

The duration of pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) varies depending on each case. Mothers usually begin to show signs of PIH sometime after the 20th week. Once a pregnant mother develops PIH, she will most likely have it until the end of her pregnancy.

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH) can have serious consequences for both the woman and the fetus. For the woman the hypertension can result in damage to the kidneys, liver, and heart. If the hypertension is not controlled, the continued excessive pressure in the cerebral vascular structures can result in a stroke. The woman with PIH may also experience seizures or placental abruption with hemorrhage which may be life-threatening. For the fetus, maternal hypertension decreases placental perfusion and may leads to intrauterine growth retardation, poor oxygen perfusion to the fetus and the possibility of intrauterine death. The only cure is ending the pregnancy, therefore the fetus is often born prematurely and faces all the risks of being born too early.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.